How are we feeling, friends? As we enter week 2 of self-quarantining, I decided to pick up one of my long-lost favorite hobbies: baking!
When I was in high school and college I would bake almost weekly. Cookies, cakes, brownies, buckeyes, anything I could get my hands on. I even had a cooking blog in college where I’d share my favorite recipes!
When I got diagnosed with PCOS (read more on that here), I changed my dietary habits and subsequently stopped baking. Sugar is one of the worst foods for women with PCOS as it aggravates hormones, and can lead to insulin resistance and a slew of other nasty side effects. And in my mind, baking and sugar were synonymous…until recently.
About a year ago I tried a keto lifestyle for about 3 months before deciding to switch to low-carb (which I follow at least 5/7 days a week when I’m not on vacation). Eating this way makes me feel so good and makes managing my PCOS symptoms way easier. But, I definitely missed my sweets! I discovered Lily’s Sweets, Keto Bites, Quest Cookies, Enlightened Ice Cream, and sugar & flour alternatives that were not only delicious but healthy! So I was back in business.
Fast forward to this Valentine’s Day. I wanted to make something really special for Doug (he loves cake), but I also wanted it to be healthy and make us feel good. Enter this keto vanilla strawberry swirl cake with buttercream frosting. It was AMAZING and only has 5.5 g net carbs per slice!
I found this vanilla cake mix by Swerve a few months ago and have been using it as the base for all types of yummy treats since. I used it to make the strawberry swirl cake the first time around, but I didn’t write down the recipe because I made the majority up as I went. I am definitely not a recipe follower! lol
So this weekend with all of the extra time on my hands, I decided to recreate the keto vanilla strawberry swirl cake and write down the recipe. This cake is gluten-free, keto, sugar-free, low-carb, diabetic-friendly and just all-around delicious. I will give some vegan alternatives as well, but just note that I have NOT tried this recipe with the vegan ingredients.
I hope you love this cake as much as we did!
Keto Vanilla Strawberry Swirl Layer Cake
With Buttercream Frosting
Strawberry Swirl Filling
- 16 oz or 3 cups fresh strawberries, (reserve 4-5 whole strawberries for garnishing)
- 3 TBSP sweetener of choice (I used Swerve and recommend this or erythritol)
- 1/2 lemon
- 2 TBSP chia seeds (or 1/2 TBSP Xanthan Gum)
- 1 box Swerve Vanilla Cake Mix (or boxed cake mix of choice)
- 3 large eggs (use chia eggs if vegan)
- 1/3 cup oil (I used this unflavored coconut oil/olive oil blend)
- 1/3 cup water
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 4 TBSP cooled strawberry filling
- 1 cup salted butter, softened (use vegan butter to make vegan)
- 1 & 1/4 cups sugar-free powdered sugar (I used this powdered sugar)
- 1/2 TBSP vanilla extract
- 2 TBSP heavy whipping cream (use full-fat coconut cream to make vegan)
- 2 TBSP of cooled strawberry swirl filling
1. Make your strawberry filling
Prep time: 5 mins
Cook time: 12 mins (plus time to cool)
Tools needed: Medium-sized saucepot, stirring spoon, cutting board, paring knife, measuring spoons
- Wash and chop the strawberries to make the strawberry filling (remember to reserve 4-5 for your garnish)
- Place the chopped strawberries into a saucepot with a stove on medium heat. Let simmer for 2 minutes.
- Add your sweetener of choice, the juice of half your lemon and your chia seeds.
- Turn the heat to low, stirring frequently for 10 minutes or until the filling starts to thicken.
- Cover your pot and remove from heat to cool. Put your filling mixture into the fridge to speed up the cooling process.
2. Make your vanilla cakes
Prep time: 5 mins
Cook time: 25 mins (plus time to cool)
Tools needed: Large mixing bowl, whisk, 2 round cake pans, butter knife or toothpick, measuring cup
- Set your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (or whatever your boxed cake mix says).
- Pour your cake mix into a large bowl and use a dry whisk to stir out clumps.
- Add your eggs, water, oil and vanilla extract to the dry mix. Stir with a whisk until everything is incorporated.
- Butter or oil your cake pans. I love these silicone pans because nothing sticks to them!
- Pour half of the wet cake mix into both of your pans.
- Put 2 TBSP of the cooled strawberry filling into each of the cake pans and swirl with a butter knife or toothpick until fully incorporated.
- Place both cake pans into the oven between 23 and 30 minutes or until golden brown and cooked.
- Let cool for at least 1 hour before frosting.
3. Make your buttercream frosting
Prep time: 8 mins
Tools needed: Hand mixer, large mixing bowl, measuring cups, measuring spoons, silicone spatula
- Place your softened butter into a large mixing bowl and beat on medium speed with your hand mixer for 2 mins
- Slowly incorporate your powdered sugar and mix on medium to high for 2 minutes
- Add in vanilla extract and heavy whipping cream and beat on medium to high for another 2-3 minutes or until light and fluffy
- Lightly fold in 2 TBSP of cooled strawberry filling
- Place 1 layer of your cooled cake onto a plate or cake stand with the flat side up (you can level the round side of the cake with a serrated knife if you’d like)
- Frost the top and sides of the 1st layer until completely covered
- Once the bottom layer is completely frosted, spread the remaining strawberry filling on the top of the cake with a spoon
- Place the 2nd layer cake on the top of the other layer, placing the flat side down
- Frost the top and sides of the top layer until completely covered
- Thinly slice your remaining 4-5 whole strawberries longways
- Garnish the cake with the thinly sliced strawberries
- Slice the cake and enjoy!
If you’d like to see more about the nutrition facts on this cake, you can view them here.
I hope you love this cake as much as I did! I kind of want to make another one haha.
Have you picked up any old hobbies while you’ve been self-quarantining?
Thanks for reading and sharing!